Sunday, August 26, 2007

18 facts no one wanted to know about me

Someone tagged me I don’t know when. In fact I have forgotten his name too. But since I am right now at a boring training session I thought I will take this up. Now this training session seems to have been devised by Inquisition team of the Dark Ages itself. No laptops. No Internet and no sleeping. I will actually have to learn something *sigh*. Anyways as an act of rebellion I will do this tag from the Instructors laptop as he talks about our company’s Privacy Policy *yawwwwwn*

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it.

I have a scar on my forehead which is barely visible now. Got it when an overconfident brother all of 9 years old took me pillion on his new bike. He lost balance and I fell and hit my head on the granite stones piled on the side of the road. I never cried till I saw the blood. I still have the habit. Till I see blood I don’t feel the hurt :p

2. What does your phone look like?

I have no idea err I mean...of course I do...just a sec while I take a relook. You know for the sake of accuracy and all that. And here are the results *drums rolling* hmmmm It looks like any other phone… except for the logo.

3. What is on the walls of your bedroom?

There was a Lizard staring at me some time ago. We stared at each other and I would have won the staring competition if the lizard had not opened his mouth and said. “Yawn”. And then it slithered away. I swear I will out yawn him next time. And if he still wins I will concede defeat graciously and then kill him.

4. What is your current desktop picture?

A magnificent example of Digital SLR photography taken without permission from the Canon gallery ( a.k.a my happy hunting ground for some nice nice girly girly desktop pictures)

5. Do you believe in gay marriage?

I think two people who love each other should be together no matter what the neighbors giggle and say. So there!!!!


6. What do you want more than anything right now?

If I had an idea I would have been on my knees begging and pleading God for the same, till he gets fed up of my whining and gets ear plugs or grants me my wish. But you see I myself have no idea what I want right now.

7 . What time were you born?

Around 6:30 pm on a cold and stormy evening in some hospital in Ernakulam. High drama preceded that 6:30 pm. The rain had set in. It was dark and stormy and all throughout the road not a creature was stirring not even a Chayakada owner. Despite the warnings of the Met department my Dad braving high winds and slashing rain took his pregnant wife to the hospital. She was screaming in pain. The doctors had warned him many time not to make his pregnant wife push his car, but he had not heeded their advice. My mom still pushed the car towards the hospital. But to his credit the engine did start when they reached the hospital gates and my dad was able to park without her help.

hahahah none of that happened. I was exaggerating. She actually pushed it to the parking slot.

Ok kidding! Actually my mom was ensconced in a warm hospital room with all her sisters and her mom tut tutting around her making her feel like a Queen who had just won the Sikkim Thunderball. My poor dad was alone in Bangalore tending to his two young sons with no help save for one mother, a father, 5 brothers and equal amount of sister-in-laws, aunts, uncles, grand aunts, grand uncles, some neighbors and one couple on their way to Ooty to honeymoon and 529 nephews, nieces and cousins. Legend has it that he put on an enormous amount of weight and his wife didn’t recognize him when he landed at the hospital But that is another story. Legend also has it that when I first beheld my dad I looked at him and uttered my very first words " Amma?". My mother was not amused. Neither was my Dad.

8. Are your parents still together?

Despite my Dads best efforts they are still together :p

9. Last person who made you cry?

Arey anyone can make me cry!! I have double the tear glands and triple the emotions of an average girl. All it needs is an averagely sad sight like a lost puppy to make me go boooo hoooooo...

10. What is your favorite perfume / cologne?

Lemme check what my Mom/aunt/friends have got in their cupboard and I will let you know. But 'rose' is the preferred aroma.

11. What kind of hair/eye color do you like in the opposite sex?

I like the opposite sex. Period. Packaging doesn’t matter. (creeps excluded)

12. What are you listening to?

My dumb colleague go on and on about Sanjay Dutts conviction which made me so bored that I wrote this tag without being reminded. That should give you an idea how desperate I was!

13. Do you get scared of the dark?

Yes and No. Yes if I am alone. And no if I am not.

14. Do you like pain killers?

This has to be the most stupidest question in the world unless you are a masochist. In which case my sincere apologies to masochists who may be reading this. Please please forgive me and don’t whip yourself too much for my transgressions. *sob*

15. Are you too shy to ask someone out?

Let me meet a shy guy I like first, then I will tell ya. Till today I am yet to meet a guy who says "hi" before he says "coffee?” (Exceptions like married and gay men are forgiven)Anyways the answer is "no".

16. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?

A large slice of Lasagna drenched in melting cheese stuffed with moist meat sauce and a savory combination of ricotta, mozzarella, provolone, and romano cheeses, topped with mozzarella in each layer, baked in a wood oven and served with a red wine, vintage year 1678.

I gotcha drooling didn’t I? *evil sadistic smile*

17. Who was the last person you made you mad?

My counterpart at work by saying that Sanjay Dutt should have been let off for being such a good boy.
Oh yeah baby. Lemme kill some people and then I promise I will be a good girl if you don’t jail me. Bah!!!!!

18. Who was the last person who made you smile?

Someone who chivalrously opened the door for me today :)

p.s I am listening to The Last Waltz.

And I am tagging Alexis, Mathew, Binu and anyone else who wants to take up this tag.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Christmas Crib story

People who forget history are cursed to repeat it, says an old proverb which I suspect was mouthed by an ancestor of my parents because this is something I have been hearing from the time I was a small brat …without any effect at all. In fact if “Experience” was a school teacher, this is how the conversation between Miss Experience and me would go.

Miss Experience: Now that you have burnt your fingers have you learnt that it is not such a good idea to put you hand in the fire?
Me: Nopes
Miss Experience: It’s no point teaching you anything is it?
Me: Yes!
Miss Experience: From my experience I can safely surmise that I can go home?!
Me: Yes!
Miss Experience: Class dismissed!

It is this congenital inability to learn lessons from past experiences, that landed me in a very grave situation last Christmas. A situation so grave that it could have put a cemetery to shame!

But did it teach me a lesson? Naaah.

It all started one fine winter morning. Well it wasn’t that fine actually… was quite foggy that morning…the type of fog that makes airlines pilots look at each other gravely and say “mommmmy".

So that fine foggy morning, my eldest brother G declared that he had to dash off to Mumbai for some urgent work. This meant that the centuries ( acco to my Dad) old tradition of G making the Christmas Crib in our house would now be undertaken by yours truly and M, my second brother. This was a bonanza beyond our wildest dreams!!! We greeted the news with disbelief/surprise/glee/trepidation/fear/uneasiness/feeling of impending doom/optimism and bravado… (in that order).

The Christmas Crib, to the uninitiated is a small tableau depicting the birth of Christ. It is put up in every Christian home a few weeks before Christmas, and in my home it used to be an activity that we kids undertook jointly, till due to certain hitherto undisclosed reasons the two "second class" (read younger) siblings were very cruelly and heartlessly banned from the said activity. The reason I think was pure greed folks….the greed to win the Annual Christmas Crib competition in which some uncreative and very old Parish Council members’ awarded prizes to the most pansy looking cribs. (G by the way almost always won the competition).

And what was that unfortunate incident that led to us being banned from crib making? Nothing serious I assure, just that we showed a creativity that was far ahead of our times. ( It is a miracle that we were not burnt at the stake or sentenced to death by stoning after that incident) M and I decided that the Christmas crib could do with some creative decorations and applied all our meager Primary School resources towards these efforts. The result was extra ordinary! We were very proud of our creation and waited with bated breath for the Parish Council to arrive to judge our crib. The Parish Council did arrive and gasped in collective horror when they saw the angels in my Rajasthani Dolls clothing and the three Kings in army tanks holding Kalashnikov rifles while six GI Joe's stood proudly around Baby Jesus' as his personal body guards. I shall not elaborate what happened after that but according to family legends my Dad had to sponsor one church building and pay for several masses to prevent his two younger kids from being excommunicated by the Church. We were also banned from further Christmas crib work by our parents and a restraining order of 10 feet distance from crib, was slapped on the two of us.

Now with G off to Mumbai, we finally had a chance to redeem our names. After much squabbling and arguments we decided that we would play safe and make a conventional but ‘lifelike’ Christmas Crib. During our years of vanvaas we had keenly watched G in action from the designated ten feet of distance stated in the 'restraining order' and observed as he carefully marked areas around the miniature wooden Bethlehem with a pen and filled these areas with mud which he dampened and planted with sprouted mustard seed that grew to resemble natural shrubbery. After which he arranged the figurines like the shepherds, angels etc. to complete the picture. It looked so easy! We were sure it would be a cake walk.

Everything was going fine as we set about the important but oh-so-easy task. Suddenly M had a brainwave and like all his brainwaves in the past that has left me with burnt fingers, singed eyebrows, scalded toes, fried legs and once a nearly burnt down house, this too was treated like a brilliant idea by yours truly. I learnt the hard way that I never learn :(

M thought that instead of using the anemic looking mustard sprouts we will use the healthy and robust Fenugreek (methi) sprouts instead! He had seen some in the kitchen garden and he said they looked green and rather harmless. So we borrowed a big packet of methi seeds from the kitchen, sprouted them and planted them in the damp soil around the town of the miniature Bethlehem. Next we arranged the figurines like the shepherds, lambs, three kings etc in their designated places and surveyed our creation with great satisfaction! The Holy Family, we decided we would put in later. Soon the small seedlings started emerging and the scene took on a realistic hue.

Early the next morning my Dad woke me up with a worried look. He pointed to the crib. The little teeny weeny innocent looking baby methi seedlings were now 3 inches in height and the Shepherd figurines were looking rather alarmed. By the next morning, the shepherds and their sheep had disappeared in the overgrowth. In the next few days the thick growth had swallowed the entire town of Bethlehem and the methi plants were now looking greedily at our house!!

The situation was grim in Bethlehem.

Shepherd 1: Hey Shepherd 2 can you see me?
Shepherd 2: I can’t see a thing in this damned overgrowth!!!
Shepherd 1: err Shepherd 2 can you hear me?
Shepherd 2: yeah, loud and clear
Shepherd 1: Good!!! Just wanted to let you know that your "Daisy" made a rather nice "mutton tikka labaadaar"
Shepherd 2: %$^#&##@*&#*
Shepherd 1: Catch me if you can tee hee.

Angel one: Say Angel Two, I always wanted to tell you this but never got the guts, but you look so pansy in that outfit! *giggle*
Angel two: *guffaw* Godamnit…you are right!! We do look like a couple of pansies!!
Angel one: *sigh* If I get out of this jungle alive I am going shopping to Forum.
Angel two: And it won't be night gowns we will be buying!

King One: Hey King Two you look like a moron holding that Frankincense.
King Two: Poda patti!
King Three: King One you don’t look too manly either holding that Myrrrh *snigger*
King One: Take this you country bugger *biff*
King Three: And you take that you cow *sock*
King Two: wheeee this is fun!!

M grimly tried to bring the situation under control by hacking the overgrowth but to no avail. The plants kept growing and growing. Alarmed at the escalating situation, my mom pitched in to help. The meal menu in the house reads thus:

Morning: Methi Dosa. Methi Chutney. Methi Coffee, Methi Tea, Methi leaves chumma just like that if you feel munchy
Lunch: Methi Pulao. Methi Salad . Methi Avial, Methi Thoranl, Methi Kaalan etc.
Tea: Methi Tea, Methi pakodas, Methi Rolls etc
Dinner: Methi Rotis and Methi Chicken. Methi Chana, Methi Raita etc.

All meals accompanied by Methi pickles, Methi pappads and Methi preserves.

Finally after some frantic eating of Methi and more Methi till we were all green in the face, the battle was bought under control. The damned plants stopped growing and peace was restored. When we left for Kerala for Christmas, our Bethlehem looked worse than a nuclear war theater that had suffered a meteor attack. Of course we didn’t win the Christmas Crib competition. It went as usual to some pansy crib made by equally pansy neighbors.

p.s the 'Restraining Order' is back in place *sigh*

Note to self: Next time ….if there is a next time please DO NOT USE High Speed Accelerate Growth Mixture for you know what.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Independent and clueless

On 12 March 1930, Gandhiji walked the talk to the coastal village of Dandi. He was joined by many people who followed him to witness the first act of Civil Disobedience that extricated the powerful hold of the British Empire from India without bloodshed. (Dentists!! Please note this point)

He reached the village of Dandi on April 6th and took a lump of salty mud, boiled it in seawater and illegally produced Salt.

And since then we Indians have been producing many commodities illegally and committing many more acts of Civil Disobedience like evading taxes, violating laws, plagiarizing, violating Intellectual property rights and destroying public property!

Perhaps Gandhiji should have addressed the future generations with a disclaimer before he made the epoch making decision to taste the salt of the earth.

"Civil disobedience is the inherent right of a citizen to be civil, it implies discipline, thought, care, attention and sacrifice". But……

“Dear peoples, please remember this is a token protest. This does not mean that you can now start manufacturing salt at home and sell it using those horrible television commercials!”

“And dear peoples, this act of defiance by me does not mean that you can defy Intellectual Property Rights and make horrible movies like KANK.”

“ Or make horrible caricatures of Nusrath Fateh Ali Khan, Simon and Garfunkel, Boney M, MLTR, Pink Floyd, Abba, Michael Jackson, Sting, Dolly Parton….guess you get the drift.”

“This does not mean you can dump garbage in your neighbor’s house.”

“Or turn up the volume of your music systems.”

“Please do not interpret this as a license to spit on the road.”

“Burning buses is not a form of Satyagraha.”

“And neither is making illegal liquor at home!!!”

“Tasting of salt from the seashore is not the same as tapping Electricity illegally.”

“And c’mon this is not in the same league as beating up fellow drivers on the road!”

“Neither is evading taxes!!”

“I request all of you gathered here to read the Dictionary when you go home and understand the meaning of the word “Independence”.

And my last appeal to the next generation which has nothing to do with this incident is, please stop making those horrible remixes. And for those of you here, who don’t know what a remix is, never mind. You will not live to hear it anyways *sigh*.

Perhaps he should have been around a little longer to teach us the value of independence and our duties as responsible citizens of this great country.

Happy Independence Day to you all!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Whats in a name? Nothing!

Time and again I have my non Keralite friends telling me how difficult it is to pronounce the surnames of Malayaleei colleagues and friends. I understand their dilemma. A Thomas Mathew is easy to pronounce, but if he chooses to take his veetu peru (house name or family name) as is the tradition and call himself Thomas Mathew Vandanakkare, then I simply cannot blame my non Malayalee friends for their consternation and call them Xenophobic which would be easier anyways.

I mean the last person who tried to pronounce a Keralite house name had to be rushed to the Emergency Room to untangle his tongue from the 24 neat knots it had twisted itself into.

Now I like to think that I am a fair and equable person who can understand the phonetic difficulties of our non south Indian brethren. So here I have compiled some Malayalee “house/family names” to illustrate to you that our ‘house and family names” are nothing to be feared of. After reading this post I promise, you will be able to remember the family names of all your Malayalee colleagues/friends without difficulty.

1. Renji Pallivadikkal - Renji Church Door

2. Sunu Vaddakekara - Sunu Northern Side

3. Sunil Kunnath - Sunil on the hill

4. Mary Neerampuzha - Mary Redant river

5. Chacko Katticaren - Chacko Soldier

6. Joby Thekkeparambil - Joby Southern Fields

7. Paul Kinnatukara- Paul Well wall

8. Blessy Vattaparambil - Blessy round estate

9. Lily Madapally ‎- Lily Covent Chapel

10. Jacob Alapattu‎ - Jacob Blacksmith Song

11. Blesson Alilakuzhi‎ - Blesson Peepal Leaf hole

12. Noble Padinjarekootu‎ - Noble Western Group

13. Jiji Panjikaran‎ - Jiji Cotton man

14. Jomon Puthanpurayil - Jomon In the new house

15. Shijo Thudianplakkal‎ - Shijo Jackfruit Tree

16. Varkey Vettukuttil‎ - Varkey Cut Forest

17. Girly Vadakumpadam- Girly Northern Paddy field

18. Baby Kallarakkal – Baby In the stone tomb

19. Susan Medhipara - Susan Threshing the rock

20. Jeejo Nedunkallel - Jeejo In the long stone

See zo zimble no?!


Please note this was just the tip of the iceberg. But fear not, all of them are as zimble as the ones I have shown above.

Additions to the above welcome in the comments section with or without translations.

Friends are forever!!

What is a friend?

A friend is someone who crosses the road risking her life because she wants to say "hi" and also because she thinks that you look horrible in that Purple top and hence should remove it immediately.

A friend is someone who will then yank you to the nearest restroom and make you change your top with her T Shirt. There is no way she is going to have you walking around looking like a fashion faux pas.

A friend is someone who will send you an SMS first thing in the morning that says "good morning" and someone who sends you the last SMS that says "good night".

A "sad smiley" is all you need to convey to your friend that you are down.

Friends are people who will take leave enmass just to hang out together.

Friends are people you let your hair down with.

Friends never judge you.

A friend is someone who will fight tooth and nail and hang on to ten different dresses she thinks you will like at the "Ultimate Discount Sale" while I take my own sweet time to arrive at the store.

A friend is someone who knows your mom as well as you and can hence fend her off with smart answers.

She will then SMS you the entire conversation so that you are prepared for the Third Degree when you reach home.

A friend is someone who says " I love you bitch".

And she will not blink an eyelid when I respond fondly " And you too whore".

A friend is a person who got the maximum pinches from me in Kindergarten, max "katti's" in first grade, max hair pulling in third grade and still remained my friend because of the lame reason that "she likes me".

A friend is someone I know I will call 30 years from now to complain about my arthritis and heart problems. And she will be there at the other end of the line to listen to my grumblings patiently. ( bitch if you die before me I will kill you....real slow grrr)

A friend is a person that makes life's journey look rosy, because no matter what life throws at you, you know you are never alone.

A friend is a person who will make lemonade for you when life throws lemons at you, because you are too lazy to make your own lemonade.

A friend is a person who will defend you even if you are wrong and then give you a pasting in private.

A friend is someone who will SMS every hour with words of encouragement till you sit on that dentists chair. After which she will SMS you telling how much she is enjoying the pani puris and gol gappas and pav bhaji knowing very well that you can only sip liquid through a straw for the next two days. It is at these times you wish you had taken a nice present for her, something really nice like that Dentists Drill when he is not looking and do some "unfriend" like things to her for being such a good friend.

A friend is someone who will never get hurt no matter what you say and do as she knows you too well.

A friend is someone you can trust blindly with gossip that can get into real trouble. That in girl terms is the "height of trust"

A friend is someone you pray your brother will marry. A sister in law who is your friend is one of the wishes I would be asking when the Genie appears. ( Thank god my brother doesnt expect the same!!!)

A friend is family.

A friend is forever.

And to all my friends who have been with me through thick and thin, I dedicate this post. I know this blog has taken away a small portion of my time with you. But what the heck I know you guys will forgive me anyways :p

To all of you my dear blogpal, thank you for being such a good friend and dropping in here to read my demented ramblings and still remain sane.

Happy Friendship Day to you all.